Dynasty League Football

Uncategorized

Dynasty Spotlight: DuJuan Harris

DuJuan_Harris

Editor’s Note: This article is submitted by a new Member Corner author, Davis Mattek.  We welcome Davis to the Member Corner and look forward to seeing more of his work in the future!

In the fantasy football community, we have a running back problem. More than any other position, we focus on what a running back can do and what he can’t do. We beg on twitter for backup running backs to be freed from their shackles on the bench and given meaningful carries. Nothing incenses us as a community more than a plodder like Michael Turner getting force fed the ball. The business of running back talent evaluation is a serious one and the gravest phrase that can be uttered is that a certain player is “just a guy.”  That’s why when I read a recent article that called DuJuan Harris ”just a guy,” I was personally offended. Back in November, I had identified Harris as a player that I wanted to target in the dynasty off-season and in 2013 redraft leagues.

Upon further examination, the claim that Harris is “just a guy'” doesn’t hold up. The Packers run game had been atrocious basically ever since James Starks had that magical run the year that the Packers won the Super Bowl. They have only two positively graded run blocking linemen according to Pro Football Focus’ statistics. That might be solvable, if the running back who had the most carries on the team didn’t acquire a cumulative -4.2 rushing rating for the season. When Cedric Benson was healthy, the team attempted to heavily involve him. He rewarded the team with a stout 3.5 yards per carry. James Starks, the team’s other stop gap solution may have been the worst of all, almost breaking PFF’s overall ranking by posting a -2.9 in one simple game against the Arizona Cardinals. Ryan Grant, in a return to the team he came up with, had a decent performance in a blowout, but was not seriously considered a solution. In general, these backs provided nothing positive in a pass heavy offense with a terrible offense line.

Harris, however, does not fall in the same category. The 5’7″ running back out of the University Of Troy had to fight his way to stay in the NFL after running a 4.45 40 yard dash at the combine and subsequently going undrafted. He was picked up and released by the Jacksonville Jaguars before finally being activated on Green Bay’s game day roster on December 9th against the Vikings. After that performance, both Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy lauded Harris’ explosion and toughness as such a small running back – this led to Harris taking over starting running back duties for Green Bay’s final 3 games.

Despite only being involved in six out of Green Bay’s 18 games, Harris lead Green Bay’s backfield in PFF’s elusiveness rating, touchdowns and yards per carry. The team clearly showed while Benson was healthy, they were willing to attempt to feature one running back heavily in the offense, having three out of his five games come with over 17 touches. DuJuan Harris is clearly not the plodder that Benson is. His ability to find the hole, no matter how small, and hit it decisively are a huge point in his favor. Alex Green, when given the opportunity, consistently ran into the exact wrong area and made bad decisions. Outside of a 41 yard run against the very terrible Indianapolis Colts defense, Green gained 243 yards on 134 attempts – that equates to 1.8 yards per carry. The fact that a Super Bowl contender gave a running back that bad that many touches is criminal, but beside the point as well. The overall analysis after looking at Harris and all of the other running backs on Green Bays roster is that he is the most talented back on said roster.

So what do we do with this information?

On the surface, many members of the fantasy community would tell us to do nothing. “Group think” would tell us that Green Bay throws the ball to much to produce a reliable RB2 and the offensive line makes those prospects even more doubtful. In the case of Harris, I contend “Group Think” is wrong. Once McCarthy and company realized what they had, the featured Harris heavily. Over the three games for the Pack, he received 16, 23, and 13 touches. In their 18 games, Green Bay running backs averaged 20.9 rushing attempts per game. The opportunity is there for a talented running back to take over the reigns and get off the the races. It is my belief that DuJuan Harris is that running back.

In a recent Dynasty League Football mock, I selected Harris with the first pick in the sixth round as my third running back. There are valid arguments that exist with this evaluation. Despite Harris obvious talent as a runner in between the tackles, as evidenced by his 4.9 yards per carry when running through the middle right gap of the center and right guard and identical yards per carry when running through the hole created by the left tackle and left guard, the offensive line in Green Bay isn’t great. While it is very possible that Green Bay addresses that issue in the upcoming draft, unless they get their hands on Luke Joeckel, it is doubtful that they transform into even a league average run blocking line. That concern alone will turn anyway many fantasy footballers. However, with Harris’ ability to simply cut in go, this isn’t as much of a hindrance. His Pro Football Focus Elusiveness rating would have ranked him seventh in the league if he had been able to reach 50% of his teams carries. That style of play is very helpful when playing with a porous offensive line.

Others still will claim Green Bay doesn’t feature its running backs and as a result, caps their value. Green Bay running backs not named John Kuhn (fullbacks are the bane of fantasy football) received 39 looks in the red zone. While not a great ratio, one can’t say that that they don’t at least attempt to involve the running backs. To further Harris’ case, in just four games, he received seven looks in the red zone. It certainly is not the prettiest picture, but fantasy football is all about value. It is possible that Harris is very cheap to acquire in your league or going to be drafted much later this potential would indicate he should in start ups.

Many are sticking steadfastly to their claims that DuJuan Harris is “just a guy,” even after impressive performances against Minnesota back-to-back, and then averaging 4.8 yards per carry against the San Francisco 49ers tremendous run defense. That sort of negative perception is going to drive his fantasy football value through the roof. The more people that don’t believe in Harris or fail to evaluate his talent correct, the more value he will provide for players smart enough to roster him.

Latest posts by Davis Mattek (see all)
51 Comments
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
51 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Paul
9 years ago

Interesting…

Would you drop other up and comers like Jaquizz Rodgers or Kendall Hunter for him?

Davis Mattek
Reply to  Paul
9 years ago

Personally, I would drop both of those guys for him. If you talent Evans are different, then don’t. Highly personal element to RB eval.

BigD
Reply to  Davis Mattek
9 years ago

huh???drunk?

Reply to  BigD
9 years ago

Probably from his phone. I read it as “If your talent evals are different.”

Davis Mattek
Reply to  Eric Hardter
9 years ago

Correct, from a phone!

Tim
9 years ago

Good stuff and it’s great to see Member Corner submissions. While I don’t think I called him “just a guy” in the recent mailbag I said he was a sell.

Some of your points made me reconsider that, but I can’t get around the fact that it’s been four years since any RB in GBP eclipsed 1000 yards and they haven’t gotten even close. GBP does run the ball some (20th in yards last year), but is pass first in the red zone. Plus A.Rod is a TD vulture.

Put on top of that the fact that they have a slew of RBs under contract – Starks, Green and Harris. Looks like a full on RBBC stew to me.

Then there’s the purely emotional argument which is this keeps happening year in and year out in GBP. First everyone clamored and overpaid for Brandon Jackson, then it was Starks, now it’s Harris.

I do agree with you that we have a shortage of RBs these days. Having not zeroed in yet on start-up ADPs, I can’t speak definitively but I have to believe there will be guys that have either more upside or less risk on the board in the sixth round.

All that said, I believe success in dynasty requires owners to have strong convictions about fringe players (like Harris). Clearly you feel strongly about him and I like that you put you money where your mouth is and took him that early. I hope he goes off for 1000 and 8 TDs for you.

shivs
Reply to  Tim
9 years ago

“First everyone clamored and overpaid for Brandon Jackson, then it was Starks, now it’s Harris.”

This sentiment is why I think Harris is a ‘buy’ right now. People bit and overpaid for those guys you mentioned. It’s one of those ‘once bitten, twice shy’ situations. We have seen Green Bay RB’s come in and have great games but fail in the next season. It’s pretty much an accepted norm in fantasy football right now and that’s exactly where the value in Harris is. The great majority of people are expecting Harris to fail and he can be acquired very cheaply right now. He’s a gamble for sure but I like the value of the guy.

Tim
Reply to  shivs
9 years ago

I agree with that completely. It will come down to what the ADP is and what the trade price is. I think just about every player in football is a buy at the right price. I’m just suspicious that the 6th round in a 12-team league is awfully early for Harris.

Davis Mattek
Reply to  Tim
9 years ago

I think it is awfully early, I admit to that much. However, he is my guy, a flag plant player.

Coleman Kelly
Reply to  Davis Mattek
9 years ago

He’s a great value, and I bet you could’ve waited a few more rounds to grab him. The whole “JAG” misconception is keeping his value way down.

Chuck Gordon
9 years ago

I was fortunate to pluck Harris on waivers and definitely plan to hold, wait and see how he develops. The GBP coaches like this kid and think he has a lot of upside. I’ve heard other fantasy analysts project Harris as a complimentary back to a veteran, but also could be “the guy” in Green Bay, not just “a another guy .”

Drew Swanson
9 years ago

I think the Pack go after a RB in the offseason. I like Harris. But I just don’t see it I guess.

Matt Dawson
9 years ago

One thing that wasn’t mentioned in the appraisal of the Packers’ O Line is that Bulaga and Sherrod will hopefully be good to go for 2013. That’s two 1st round picks (although Sherrod has done nothing to justify that pick yet).
In the mix at tackles, they’ll have Newhouse, Bulaga, Sherrod, and Barclay (undrafted rookie they were forced to play this year, had some disastrous games). In the interior it’ll be Sitton, Deitrich-Smith, and Lang.
At the draft it’s probable that they will go after another lineman early. Their biggest need seems to be at defensive end, but if they don’t go after a skill position as well they will likely grab another tackle or guard.

Davis Mattek
Reply to  Matt Dawson
9 years ago

This is true, I didn’t do a good job of fully addressing the offensive line.

Dge
9 years ago

Good article. Davis and Tim each make valid points. Harris’ situation looks eerily similar to Starks’ before him as far as showing up at the end of the year and looking like the starter for the next. I don’t know how high people in general are on him at the moment. I don’t feel like it’s much. I think I’m going to hold onto him unless I get a good offer. I’d rather cross my fingers than sell.

9 years ago

I’m on the Harris bandwagon. He runs hard, is very elusive and seems to have a nose for the end zone. Needless to say, I picked him up in every league I could. I wouldn’t be opposed to flipping him for the right price though. If someone were to offer me an early to mid second for him I’d probably jump on it. A lot of reports that I am reading right now are eluding to the fact that GB is going to add a RB in either free agency or via the draft. If I can’t get that type of value out of him though, I’ll be more than happy to hold him to see what happens.m Like I said, I like the kid and always love a good underdog story. I’ll be routing for him to be successful whether I trade him or not.

shivs
9 years ago

Also, don’t forget that the guy can catch.

Davis Mattek
Reply to  shivs
9 years ago

He absolutely can. Great point.

Jimmy Graham Cracker
9 years ago

Harris is a change-of-pace RB and nothing more. Basically GB’s version of Daryl Richardson. Bleh.

In fact, most insiders know that they plan to go after a ‘foundation’ RB this offseason.

So much for that – Harris is really “just a guy.”

Davis Mattek
Reply to  Jimmy Graham Cracker
9 years ago

You are certainly entitled. I think all of the numbers and scouting disagree with you, but to each his own.

Coleman Kelly
Reply to  Davis Mattek
9 years ago

Hey, Ted Thompson knows what he’s doing. Maybe, come draft day, they see something in Harris and address other needs, like their awful defense.

Ryan Vanni
Reply to  Coleman Kelly
9 years ago

Harris looked good to me and if a guy gets the “opportunity” then change of pace is out the window and he is the main pace. We ff’rs are starved of late for rbs so guys like harris are worth a roll of the ol die imo and ol bleh daryl richardson may get his opp next yr as well. Id like to have the opportunity to take a chance on both personally and hope that they become options for my ff team.

sean mcguigan
9 years ago

Drop Rodgers and hunter for this guy? Really? I don’t see it not in that offense. Hunter and Rodgers are good bets to be key guys in much better run offenses(especially hunter) bold statement but who knows crazier things have happened

Coleman Kelly
Reply to  sean mcguigan
9 years ago

Hunter is wildly overrated. He’s not a really special talent at running back, and Gore isn’t slowing down. The RB situation there is eerily similar to Carolinas.

Deangelo Williams = Frank Gore
Cam Newton = Kaepernick
Mike Tolbert = LaMichael James
Jonathan Stewart = Kendall Hunter

Not saying I’d drop Hunter for Harris, but I’d definitely trade him. You could probably get a 1st plus with how devalued this rookie class has become.

Mark Rockwell
Reply to  Coleman Kelly
9 years ago

I disagree about Hunter. He can catch, pass protect and averaged over 5 yards per this season prior to his injury. Gore is slowing down, not to say he stinks, but he isn’t as elusive as he used to be. Hunter is a guy I really like.

Quizz is the guy I think is drastically over rated. Without looking it up I think he’s at about 3-3.5 ypc this season on an explosive offense. He has shown me nothing that would indicate he has a fantasy relevant future. Then again if Turner can do it, maybe Quizz can too.

Flipper
9 years ago

I’ve long thought he’s just a guy, but at least this gives me reason to consider otherwise.

FWIW, errors abound. For instance, this bit from the first paragraph- “heard read a recent article that called DuJuan Harris”.

BigD
Reply to  Flipper
9 years ago

please don’t do the spelling and grammar errors. you guys are 1000times more annoying then the mistakes are. we all can read and can overlook a honest mistake made in the heat of an article moment with out the writing police all over it. go back to your teaching job and let us be free in our mistake riddled lives.

Davis Mattek
Reply to  Flipper
9 years ago

I actually just deliver the original article to be edited. The original copy was me responding to a specific football personality. That was changed in the final version.

Admin
Reply to  Davis Mattek
9 years ago

Yep, my bad on that one. Member Corner articles are typically eft unedited, but I made a switch and didn’t correct it.

BigD
Reply to  Davis Mattek
9 years ago

no hate intended davis. you did a great job on the article and keep up the hard work, it is apprieciated and well recieved even if some get pissy with gramma

Timothy Holloway
9 years ago

Ballsy call. I don’t exactly agree but at least you’re making a stand. My opinion is:

Harris has talent and has looked great with his opportunities, but he has also been running on fresh legs.

I don’t seen Thompson going after a foundation RB this offseason. It is just not his MO.

McArthy does not care about running the ball and will never have a RB that consistently gets 20+ touches/ game. At best, Harris will have flex play upside.

I would EASILY take Hunter or Rodgers over Harris.

Davis Mattek
Reply to  Timothy Holloway
9 years ago

Rodgers has much more just a guy evidence and hunter is coming back from serious injury.

Reply to  Davis Mattek
9 years ago

Achilles injuries aren’t what they used to be. Just ask every corner back that Demaryius Thomas faced this year!

Duck
Reply to  Timothy Holloway
9 years ago

I’m taking Rodgers or K.Hunter over Harris too! Love Hunter as a future workhorse and Rodgers could be a Sproles type……I think Greenbay drafts a workhorse in the draft….also love Lamar Miller_Miami better.

Coleman Kelly
Reply to  Duck
9 years ago

Green Bay made a concerted effort to get Alex Green carries this year, it just didn’t go anywhere. They have no problem running 20+ times, they just haven’t had a back worth giving that number of carries to.

Double D
9 years ago

Being an obviously jaded GBP fan, I would have to agree with most of this article, with a few exceptions.

Although Harris could be seen as a change of pace back, he shows far more power than the someone like Richardson. Yes, he’s only 208#, but he’s also only 5’7″. He’s packing a fair amount of weight on a short frame. Fair to say he’s got legs like tree trunks.

My opinion on guys like Rodgers. If there is a 30 year old vet in front of them, and they can’t beat them out, there is an issue somewhere. Be it talent, blitz pickup, or something else. There is a reason they are not the starter. My own best example is Kevin Hambrick (and I do mean…..BRICK). He was the next Emmitt Smith. Only problem is…he couldn’t beat out a 30+ year old Emmitt Smith.

As for Hunter, Gore doesn’t show many signs of slowing down. Hunter is also 5’7″, but is 10# lighter. He’s not old by any means, but next year will be his 3rd year. Odds are he doesn’t beat out Gore for the starter job next year. Then he’s going on his 4th year.

Unless TT goes after another vet, or drafts another back, Harris has as good of a chance as any of picking up a bunch of carries, and receptions, as he does catch the ball well.

Grant, Benson, and Starks….2 of the 3 will be gone in the offseason. Book it.

On another note, Aaron Rodgers has made it clear to the local media he’s somewhat unhappy with being called upon to carry the entire burden of the offense. He knows the best way to avoid 50+ sacks again next year will be have a running game to take some of the pressure off.

All that leads me to believe Harris will be worth a flyer. And a better flyer than either Rodgers or Hunter.

Reply to  Double D
9 years ago

J. Rodgers isn’t much, but you realize that when you’re using Hunter’s age and an argument for Harris that you’re talking about someone that is actually younger than Harris? Granted, it is only 13 days, but it still isn’t valid.

Hunter also had a better season in terms of YPC, significantly so if you count the playoff games for Harris.

Mark Rockwell
Reply to  Jacob Feldman
9 years ago

If I could turn Harris into Hunter I’d do it in a second. Harris and Quizz are even as far as I’m concerned. May prefer Harris as I don’t think Quizz has a significant fantasy future ahead of him.

Ariakis S
9 years ago

Wow unless you think he can be Ray Rice or MJD isn’t the 6th round his UPSIDE? A timeshare back capable of decent games in a pass 1st offense with other RB’s in the mix. They WILL bring in another RB … whether it is a veteran or high draft pick who knows but his competition will improve. The 6th strikes me as where he’d go if he had no downside with his current perceived value. SELL HIGH!

Chris Howat
9 years ago

Very bold prediction. I don’t buy it.

9 years ago

I guess I fall into the “unconvinced” category so far. I’m not saying that Harris won’t be involved next year, just that to expect him to produce at a level worthy of a 6th round pick in a start up or better than someone like Kendall Hunter is a little too premature for me.

Harris has only had 62 career carries, which is a very limited sample size. Remember Bryce Brown’s first 40 or so carries as a starter? Anyway, in the 3 games that Harris was used as the “lead” back by the Packers he rushed for a total of 170 yards on 42 carries, which is 4.0 YPC. That really isn’t anything special.

When you combine that with the fact that his best year in college was his Sophomore year, before he saw a steady decline in usage for the next two years, and the fact that he was cut by the Jaguars (never a good sign). If he can’t win the job on a team in the Sun Belt conference or on the Jags, those are big red flags. It all leads me to believe that he is closer to being “just a guy” than he is to being “the guy” in Green Bay.

I think that the most likely outcome is that the Packers bring in another RB, either through the draft or a cheaper free agent, that will be more of the power back while Harris takes over more of a 3rd down role. He catches the ball well and does a decent job in space. That would mean that he’s in a rotation/competition for touches with this new back, Starks, Green, John Kuhn, and Aaron Rodgers. Way too many question marks and red flags to make a significant investment in my opinion.

phorts
9 years ago

I havent read every post, but I can put my feelings on Harris very succinctly.

1. GB = Pass 1st
2. GB gets in the Red Zone and the order of options is Pass> Rodgers Run> FB Run> RB

Talent aside, which you can argue he has enough of, the opportunity under McCarthy and this offense just cannot support an RB1, or even a consistent RB2.

Matt Dawson
9 years ago

Another thought..don’t be surprised if GB goes after one of the Pittsburgh RFAs. Doesn’t sound like Redman/Dywer are really in their plans. Would fit okay in GB as a power complement to Harris.

DD
9 years ago

I realize their closeness in age. The point is…Hunter has been on the Niners roster for 2 full seasons, still isn’t the starter. Gore doesn’t show a sign of slowing down. Harris doesn’t have a Gore-type player in front of him, Hunter does.

Therefore, at best, you’re hoping for a timeshare (unlikely given Gore’s production) vs Harris, who not only doesn’t have anyone in front of him, but the other backs involved (Benson, Green, Starks) haven’t shown the ability to take the job by the horns.

YPC is a junk stat in my eyes when you’re talking about backups or, more specifically, 3rd down backs. Of course Hunter has a higher YPC average. When you come into the game,and its 3rd and 10, the defense will gladly give you 5 yards. That’s Hunter’s role, not Harris’.

In the end, Harris has the best opportunity to win the starting job, Hunter doesn’t. By the time Hunter gets the chance, probably 2 full seasons from now, Harris could already be the starter for those 2 years.

Granted, I’m a bit of a gambler when it comes to fringe roster players, but I’d take a guy who has an opportunity to win the starting job vs a guy who is stuck behind a Pro-Bowl RB who doesn’t show much in terms of slowing down.

Reply to  DD
9 years ago

Might want to check your stats before you use them in an argument. It makes you look foolish when someone actually checks on them. Hunter had a whole 6 carries this year on 3rd downs. He isn’t a 3rd down back. Of those 6, two of them were on 3rd and 2 or less. That means he had a whole 4 carries on 3rd and 3+. He wasn’t racking up his YPC when the defenses were giving him all kinds of free yards in a prevent style defense. You might want that to be true, but it just isn’t.

As for the rest of it, if you think that the fact that Gore is the starter and Hunter gets about 30-40% of the carries is because Hunter isn’t talented you really haven’t been paying much attention to the NFL recently. Gore might be better than Hunter, but Gore is also better than the majority of the RBs in the league. The reason that Gore isn’t slowing down is because Hunter was getting those carries. Three of Gore’s busiest five games came after Hunter was injured. This was the lowest per game usage that Gore has seen since his rookie year as they were working Hunter in more than last year.

You can gamble on Harris over Hunter if you really want to, but I think it is a gamble that you’re going to lose.

Draho
9 years ago

I believe Harris is “just a guy”, but that’s better than anything the Packers had since Ryan Grant (pre-injury; the first time around). It’s not a bad thing…Grant was nothing special and was “just a guy” and had a nice 3 year run. I’ll take that for a late round pick in a startup any day.

That being said, I can see Green Bay looking elsewhere in the off-season.

Jon
9 years ago

A late round flier – sure. He may turn into a rb3 but currently there are too many question marks and his situation / potential I beleive is capped by the G.B. Offense – Rodgers, Kuhn, and the passing game in general. A sixth round pick in a start up. No.

I see it as Hunter >>> J.Rodgers > Harris.

I believe G.B. will target the rb position in the off season and people should likely sell Harris now for what they can (2nd round rookie pick sounds about right) before his value drops and he ends up being a roster clogger with maybe flex play upside. Seems a bit like “Starks” deja vu to me to be honest.

I don’t have room for him on my rosters and frankly am not interested in any of the G.B. runners at the momemt.

Interesting article though. Well done. I’m ok with people that are high on him. I do like his skill set and do see the talent, but, He’s not for me. To each their own. Makes for good off season convo.

voiceofunreason
Reply to  Jon
9 years ago

Green Bay isn’t going after any rb of consequence in free agency. When’s the last time they did or drafted a rb early? Jackson at the end of the second. Otherwise you have to go back to 1990 to find a guy they took in the first. They have more pressing needs in free agency–defense and OL.

We’ll see if he has the talent. I like what I saw but watched him for about a quarter this year as I haven’t had much time for football. Unless something weird happens, no rb will get much goal line work but if he plays well he could certainly be an rb2.

Jon
Reply to  voiceofunreason
9 years ago

Well, first, I’ve watched every snap Harris has played this year – The NFL Sunday Ticket frickin rocks. Can watch every single game and not one single commercial -(that is why I commented), second, it wouldn’t take “a running back of too much consequence” to further muddy the waters in G.B. and thus hamper the upside of Harris.

Just because G.B. hasn’t went after a running back early in the last decade (other than Jackson (2nd round), certainly doesnt mean they can’t or wont look into the possibility this year sometime early on day 2. Meaning 2nd or 3rd round pick.

Clearly they tried to feed C.Benson, then Alex Green, then Harris, and tried to take pressure and hits off A.Rodgers. I’m quite certain that we will see G.B. Address their running game this offseason. 1st day pick is likely a defensive pick. Second day – O.G. or O.T. / RB.

Davis Mattek
9 years ago

For those arguing Hunter, I think James performances and Kaepernick’s rushing attempts are a significant argument against his immediate dynasty value.

9 years ago

Quizz is a decent PPR flex play IMO. He grabbed 53 balls on 59 targets this season. That’s about as sure handed as they come. His YPC from increased from 3.6 to 3.9 this year, and he’s only lost one fumble on 248 career touches. It may be in Atlanta’s best interest to give him a legitimate shot for one season considering how much they paid to move up and acquire Julio Jones. If he fails, they move on. People are forgetting that Atlanta is more of an up tempo, pass first offense these days. A player like Quizz could be very successful in that type of offense.

To Top